Agriculture and Natural Resources

As a horticulture extension agent, Melanie Barrow works primarily with homeowner landscaping needs in Henry County, the City of Martinsville and surrounding areas, delivering research-based educational programs on various topics, including pest identification and diagnostics, ornamental cultural information, fruit and vegetable growing recommendations, home garden and landscape techniques, and lawn maintenance.  Her primary goal is to teach the public about Integrated Pest Management techniques to reduce the overuse of pesticides and fertilizer applications and to promote a more environmentally friendly gardening experience.  Melanie also works closely with the area commercial landscapers and turf managers, providing up-to-date recommendations and pesticide applicator licensing training.

Melanie has a great workforce of Master Gardener volunteers that provide expertise and programming to county and city residents and organizations.  She also develops and delivers program presentations to area civic organizations, garden clubs, community clubs, and one-on-one individuals.  Program development is topic-focused and determined by public need.

If you are need of testing the nutrients in your soil, we have the boxes and forms you will need to mail off soil samples for your lawn, garden or crop. These can be obtained from our office at no charge to you; however, you must handle the mailing yourself. Commercial crop diagnosis is free and a routine test for garden/lawn is $7 per sample. You will mail the check (if needed) to Treasurer, Virginia Tech, along with your soil samples. Stop by the Extension Office and get your boxes for testing your soil.

If you need a PRIVATE PESTICIDE APPLICATOR LISCENSE to purchase restricted-use chemicals, you may call the Henry County/Martinsville Extension Office and set up a time to come take the required test.  

Application information and study manual order forms for COMMERCIAL PESTICIDE APPLICATOR LISCENSE can also be obtained through the Henry County/Martinsville Extension Office.  Commercial Applicator testing is provided by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and can be taken at the local DMV.

We are fortunate to have trained, qualified Master Gardener volunteers to help you with your horticultural questions. Call the Henry County/Martinsville Extension Office on Mondays and Thursdays from 9:00am - 12:00pm or 1:00pm - 4:00pm and request a Master Gardener call you to discuss your garden and lawn concerns. We will put you in touch with a Master Gardener who can answer your questions in a timely manner.